Even after cops detained him more more than 20 minutes for photographing buildings in the New York State Police Academy in Albany this week, releasing him after they were unable to find a legal reason to arrest him, they still sent one of their terrorist task force members to his home to further intimidate him.
But Matthew Grunert, 22, handled the cop in the same way he handled the three previous cops: refusing to provide his identification unless they were able to specify what reasonable suspicion they had to detain him, demanding their names and badge numbers instead.
So now we can imagine he is already on their terrorist watch list as so many of us are these days.
After all, one of the cops asked if he was a “sovereign citizen,” which they are taught to view as domestic terrorists.
“I found it personally insulting and offensive that he would ask me that,” Grunert said in a telephone interview with Photography is Not a Crime.
“I respect the laws in this country, I respect the Constitution.”
Now he is making public records requests to see exactly what information they have on him as well as what training procedures they have in place to teach aspiring cops on the right to record in public.
However, today he learned that Inspector Matthew Gilbert, the cop who visited his home and whose business card is below, paid a visit to his mother at the church she volunteers to further the intimidation process. We will update with more info later tonight on that interaction.
“That just doesn’t sit right with me,” he said. “I’m not a criminal. Why am I being treated like a criminal?”
Grunert is about to complete a master’s program in computer science.
“I’ve been attending SUNY Albany for five years and the police academy is next door,” said the man who has degrees in criminal justice and computer science.
“I just wanted to do a walking tour of the police academy.”